Sunday, 5 April 2020

Today's ability to keep in touch

In 1909 E.M. Forster published his only science fiction story, The Machine Stops, in which the future consists of people living essentially isolated in underground cells where everything from food to medicine to entertainment is provided by the Machine. People are discouraged from emerging onto the surface. And why would they want to as they can easily keep in touch with each other via their two-way screens?

The world of April 2020 does seem a bit like that as we all stay indoors to avoid catching and spreading this coronavirus. And, as Forster remarkably (or luckily) prefigured, we have the internet that enables us to keep in touch with anyone else who has it.

Last night my friend Kate Collins arranged a video conference using Zoom and it was great to be able to chat to other girls back in England. I haven't actually seen Kate and her wife Suki in the flesh for nearly 3 years, nor Anna Faith, so it was really wonderful to be able to catch up in that way. I met a couple of other people at the 'conference', too. The true marvels of modern technology!

Kate and I in the days when social distancing was unknown
There is now some talk of the endgame here in Italy as the rate of infection starts to level out. Although the situation will continue as it is till after easter there is likely to be a phased return to something resembling normality. Fingers crossed. I'm sorry that other countries couldn't take a leaf out of Italy's book where initial dithering and uncertainty made the whole situation worse. As for countries like Hungary that have now voted sweeping powers to their already near-dictatorial leader, this is what I as a member of a persecuted minority lose sleep over. I hope the world will get back to normal - true normal - very fast.

My posts in March describe life in Italy during coronavirus, and some tips on how to survive working or remaining at home.

Stay well and safe.

Sue x